Fourth Quarter 2012: Western Banks: Solid Improvement, But Further To Go

February 21, 2013

The First Glance 12L provides a first look at the financial performance of the 12th Federal Reserve District banks each quarter. The 4Q12 report, “Solid Improvement, But Further To Go,” examines industry and 12th District trends over extended time periods with a focus on improvements since the financial crisis. The average District bank return on average assets has improved for 3 consecutive years, reaching 0.69% in 2012. While the earnings gains were largely due to reduced credit loss provisions, core earnings rates also have risen slowly over this period. The District bank average noncurrent loan rate dropped to 2.4%, well down from the 4.7% peak, with Large- and Mid-Sized bank noncurrent rates now below 2%. Year-over-year loan growth for District banks climbed to 3.9% on average and bank capital ratios continued to increase. Overall, District banks continue to recover at a steady pace, but have further to go to return to normal historical levels. Challenges include an economy that remains slow to recover and vulnerable to shocks, and a difficult environment to improve net interest margins.